Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hi From Mid-Michigan

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Post  victoria1555 on 3/2/2010, 2:05 pm

Hi, I'm Vicki from Mid-Michigan, near the thumb area, new to this forum but not new to SFG. I did not have much time back in the 80's to have more than one or two SFG boxes and out of habit/lack of time, etc, went back to my farmer dad's methods: gardening in rows.
I saw the new copy of All New Square Foot Gardening yesterday at my local farm store and snatched it right up. After reading the first few chapters I'm beginning to think this is the answer to all my problems. I live in an area of the state where it is mostly poor sand and over the years have mixed in hundreds of soil amendments to no avail. Compost just seemed to disappear as well. Since our old rototiller fell apart, I knew I was facing the purchase of new one this year and since I am in my mid-50's, I knew it was going to be very expensive if I wanted a model that I would be able to handle myself. Now I am thinking I will take that money and put it into supplies for SFG boxes. Looking forward to reading many posts here.
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Post  jinx on 3/2/2010, 2:18 pm

Thanks for your thoughts on cost comparison. I've been working on laying out my very first garden and the cost of building boxes and filling them had gotten me down. Since you've pointed out the expensive tools needed for single row gardening maybe the one time cost of boxes and Mel's mix isn't really that bad after all. You've brightened my outlook a little today, Thanks again!

Jenn ~ Northern Davis County, UT
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Post  boffer on 3/2/2010, 2:52 pm

You know what they say: "Do it right the first time, and only cry once!"

Box materials can be scrounged, and they don't have to be lumber. Blocks, bricks, rocks, RR ties, coffee cans filled with rocks or dirt-get creative.

My neighbor got a bunch of used garage doors for free. That's what he uses for frames.

Putting together Mel's soil mix can get pricey, but it's basically a lifetime investment. Very cheap in the long run.

SFG is the only way to garden
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Post  boog on 3/2/2010, 5:02 pm

greetings vicki i'm down outside jackson mi. this 'll b my first try at sfg heres a thought the wife brought home like 6 "pairs" of by-fold doors from the habitat for humanity in town for like a dollar a pair. 2 of them might turn inta a couple of planting beds Hi From Mid-Michigan Lol

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Post  Theresa on 3/3/2010, 9:27 am

Hi victoria Hi From Mid-Michigan Action-smiley-030

Welcome to the SFG forum!

It's great to get ideas from the other members, especially when it SAVES MONEY!
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Post  Lavender Debs on 3/4/2010, 9:13 am

Hey Vic! I am also new to the 50's but have a lifetime of gardening. Most of that experience came in a huge French-intensive garden my husband and I kept in a Mountain Valley in Washington State. He ran the heavy equipment, put in the fence posts and gaits ran the rototiller in the spring and fall, I poked seeds into the dirt and plucked weeds. He ran the lawn mower; I spread the clippings and turned the compost. Oh.... he put in time at a factory job to pay for everything too. These days I have too many issues to spend a day on my hands and knees. Since moving to town, most of my gardening has been in pots because of crummy weed infested soil and terriers. Everything came together this year and we are SFG.

I though the price of the box was the least of the expenses. The fabric that goes under is wildly expensive. The package has enough to make multiple boxes. Vermiculite was another crazy expensive purchase. It does look like I will get three to four boxes filled with the bag we bought. I have two little compost bins that were given to me by a wild life sanctuary that my son used to work for. They were just too small for all the bedding and droppings they had to compost but they work great for me. Beautiful black compost mostly from lawn clippings, weeding and the kitchen. I figure we spent about $5.25 per square foot, not counting the cost of seed. I think that price can be halved every year that we use the boxes again.

Deborah ….trying to wrap her head around being a crone instead of a babe in the PNW
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Post  happyfrog on 3/5/2010, 7:23 am

i'm so glad you found that book! when i was reading gardening books a couple years ago after birth of third living kid, the sfg book made the most sense to me - esp since i always thought i didn't have a green thumb. turns out, my thumb IS green, the ground was brown. . . *grin*

you're gonna LOVE sfg!! we sure do here! we spent about $150 last year to set up our initial boxes (equiv of 3 4x4's) and we spent about $200 LESS on produce last summer . . so it was a win win for us. this year, we're planning on doubling our space and seeing if we can elim all produce purchases (except things like tropical fruits and berries - as we don't have any berry plants of any kind yet - but i want a strawberry pyramid something fierce! but i don't expect good production for a year or so. . )
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